Parsons Dance Project | Dance Critic's Choice | Chicago Reader

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Parsons Dance Project


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David Parsons has a knack for stage illusions created through quirky articulations of the body and inventive lighting. In his classic Caught, a single dancer captured in a strobe light appears to fly, and in Instinct, one dancer with a furry top half and another with a furry bottom come together to produce a rapidly evolving series of satyrlike creatures. But of the four Chicago premieres Parsons is presenting on this program, my favorite is Reflections of Four, whose only gimmick is a spare beauty: slow, controlled, self-contained movement in two solos is later repeated by a line of four women dancers whose arms and legs form lyrical but abstract patterns. At the opposite end of the spectrum is Anthem, a predictable piece with a lot of flag waving and a moralistic message about the divisiveness of national loyalties; it's light-years away from the antic humor of Parsons's The Envelope, well loved by Chicago audiences in its Hubbard Street Dance Chicago incarnation. On the bill for this one-night-only show are Parsons's Caught, Instinct, Reflections of Four, Anthem, and Fill the Woods With Light--a moody, sexy piece to a jazz score that uses handheld lights to create an aura of mystery--as well as company member Robert Battle's Strange Humors. Friday at 8 at the North Shore Center for the Performing Arts in Skokie, 9501 Skokie Blvd. in Skokie; $35. Call 312-902-1500 for tickets, 847-673-6300 for tickets and information, including information on a dinner package.

--Laura Molzahn

Art accompanying story in printed newspaper (not available in this archive): photo by Lois Greenfield.

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